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Zack

Total Compensation

Recently there was an article making the rounds describing the massive "total compensation" benefit of working for a large company over a startup.

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The Writer's Journey

An extensive elaboration on the Cambellian Heroes Journey as it relates to writing a story and being a writer. I enjoyed it, but it could have been heavily edited.

How Fiction Works

An academic's view of how fiction works, which, in a former life I was rather academic so I don't mind the name-dropping aspect of the book. Like Nabokov? You'll wish you did by the end of the book.

Snow Crash

This well loved book didn't quite resonate with me. I'm not sure why, but the parody/hyperbole was just a bit too foreign for me to grasp.

Zack

The Power of Incremental Work

Quite a while ago, I wrote a review of The New Turing Omnibus. A very clever book whose double entendre title reinforced the wit with which the subject matter was to be handled. In short, a very fun book that covers a lot of Computer Science topics.

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Neuromancer

I remember really enjoying this one as a kid, but it wasn't quite the same on the re-read. I appreciate the fever-dream quality which Gibson brought to the work. He truly is a master and this bears that fingerprint.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

I read the first chapter several times, admiring the mastery of the economy of each word properly chosen to introduce the story most effectively. It really is remarkably well-written fiction and very enjoyable.

Superintelligence

The most thorough work on Artificial Intelligence which I have ever read. It concerns itself primarily with the pathways and risks associated with developing a true super-intelligence and makes a rather compelling case for it plausibly occurring in our lifetimes.

The War of Art

When I started writing my own book, I didn't understand the author's premise. I wasn't having self-defeating resistance to writing, I was enjoying every minute of it. But then, somewhere along the path to maturity, it hits. The inexplicable self-defeating cycle of prioritizing other things. Read this book if you struggle staying on track.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

From the perspective of a comparative mythologist (I made that up), Joseph Campbell links together the great stories of the world and finds commonality. It became the blueprint for many great stories of modern day.

The Gunslinger

People say they love this book, that it's King's finest. I can't help but read it as a shadow of Cormac McCarthy and thus didn't enjoy it as much. I've been told the later books make for a very compelling series. Will revisit.

Slaughterhouse Five

I had never read a book like this before. At once very meta -- it refers to itself regularly -- and from the perspective of an unreliable narrator, it was frankly mindbending. I think I liked it. Maybe?

Eats Shoots & Leaves

Amusing look into one person's life long relationship with grammar. It's fun, short, and perhaps you'll make sense of some grammar along the way. Although, I think it's just made me re-read everything I write like ten times.

On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft

A very motivating book for an aspiring writer, King lays out the tremendous path towards mastery that begins and ends at the same place, in the chair and writing relentlessly (although without adverbs and only with 'said's). Loved it.

Armada

It is difficult not to compare with Ready Player One, but I think it's better to set that aside and enjoy this book on its own. If you do, you'll find a fun tribute to "The Last Starfighter."

Starship Troopers

What was the movie thinking? If you've seen it and think you know what Heinlein was writing about, you are mistaken. This book is esprit de corp, the existential joy of fighting alongside brethren for a common purpose. With a good bit of military realism thrown in as well. Loved it.

Cosmos

In the last couple weeks I have finished three of Carl Sagans books, Cosmos, Pale Blue Dot, and The Demon-Haunted World.

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An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

I am a strong proponent of advancing progress towards space travel. This book is an interesting autobiography with some good life advice thrown in as well.